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SC House Votes To “Sunset” Controversial Hospital Mandates

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“CERTIFICATE OF NEED” PROGRAM COULD BE ON ITS DEATHBED …

|| By FITSNEWS ||  It’s an exceedingly rare day when this website finds occasion to praise members of the “Republican-controlled” S.C. General Assembly.  Typically they are good for little else than uncovering newer, more expensive ways to hold South Carolina back.

Anyway, this week we can report on something good – a decision by the S.C. House of Representatives to eliminate the so-called “certificate of need” (CON) program.

This onerous, invasive program requires hospitals to demonstrate a market need prior to building new facilities, establishing certain new services, making certain capital expenditures or purchasing certain new equipment.  The idea behind forcing hospitals to obtain these certificates is to prevent duplication of services and – ostensibly – keep health care costs low.

We reject such government intervention on principle … and have consistently opposed this program as another example of taxpayer-subsidized meddling with the free market.

Anyway, by a vote of 103-1 the S.C. House has voted to do away with the program beginning in 2018 – although S.C. Rep. Jimmy Merrill, who led the push to do away with the program, says he’s fearful special interests will succeed in pushing back this “sunset” date.

S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley vetoed funding for the administration of the program last year, but her efforts were overruled by the S.C. Supreme Court.

Ironically, Haley was busted lobbying lawmakers in favor of a certificate of need while she was a member of the S.C. House of Representatives – and an overpaid fundraiser for Lexington Medical Center, the facility seeking the CON.  In fact Haley’s lobbying efforts were among the pieces of compelling evidence ignored by her former colleagues in a 2012 “show trial” in the S.C. House of Representatives.

Oh well …

Lawmakers are doing the right thing by getting rid of this program … assuming they stick to their guns and follow through on the 2018 deadline.

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